Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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Red: A Storybook Styled Shoot

The first time we saw these photos from magic-maker, Maura Jane Photography, our jaws quite literally dropped. That’s because when we hear the words “winter wedding styled shoot,” we think muted hues, cozy cups of hot chocolate, and maybe a faux fur shawl or two. We were totally unprepared for this striking, fairytale-esque shoot straight from wedding heaven!

(Although, we shouldn’t have been surprised that Maura Jane gave life to such a remarkable concept. She has a way of enchanting everything she photographs.)

From the perfect plum lip to the balanced-yet-wild bouquet, Maura and her dream team of local vendors truly brought their A-game to this sophisticated and invigorating shoot. We’re expecting to see this deep contrast and bold color scheme popping up in winter weddings everywhere this 2018 because, well, how could you not be inspired to do the same?!

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Inspired by the beautiful winter weather and the moodiness of the red riding hood fairy tale we decided to put together a winter bridal portrait session with a little bit of a fairy tale twist. Using the deep color of Marsala as opposed to bright red, we wanted to add more mood to the shoot as well as inspire brides getting married in colder months. Protea and berries were added to the bouquet complete with long feathers for something unique.

-Maura Jane, Owner of Maura Jane Photography 

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Meet the vendors who made this fairytale possible:

Concept + Photography: Maura Jane Photography | Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee

Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Floral: The Flower Company 

Model: Jaiden Mazon

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Dark & Moody Woodland Beauty: A Northern New Mexico Styled Shoot

Danessa Gonzales, of Black Bow Events, did what she does best for this stunning styled shoot. After her imagination took off and the planning and design stage started to take shape, Danessa recruited some of her favorite experts to bring her vision to life, including Jasper Kay Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, The Flower Company and even Rebel Donut.

At the pleasure of Danessa’s parents, these lovelies set up in the back yard of the Gonzales family residence in the beautiful mountain town of Questa, New Mexico. Everything about the property and surrounding landscape was the perfect setting for the dark and moody color palette paired with dusty pink accents to compliment our legendary pastel sunsets.

As you can see, their hard work paid off and the finished product came together so naturally. Every contribution and design element added the perfect touch, including the place settings by Nambé and the unique jewelry by Lilly Barrack. With a little inspiration and collaboration, the team you hire can make your ideas a dream come true.

My vision for this styled shoot was to showcase the beautiful and opulent lands of northern New Mexico, while going bold with all of the designs. My goal as a planner and designer is to broaden the visions of engaged couples and remind them that nothing is impossible and every vision is worth creating — big or small.

At the heart of my design was the lacy black wedding dress, which perfectly complimented the woodland vibe. From the donut tower to the mountainous backdrop and intimate table setting, there was nothing mundane about this styled wedding shoot. Adorned with thousands of twinkle lights and candles, it was the perfect amount of glimmer and romance.

— Danessa R. Gonzales, Black Bow Events

Photos by Jasper Kay Photography

Meet the professionals who made this styled shoot possible:

Planning, Styling & Décor: Black Bow Events | Photographer: Jasper Kay Photography | Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Makeup: Edgar Campos | Hair: IG @hmiram + @finessebarberstudio | Jewelry: Lilly Barrack | Suit: Dillard’s | Floral Design: The Flower Company | Beverages: Nuevo Cerveza + Bloody Maria | Place Settings: Nambé | Dessert: Rebel Donut | Venue: Gonzales Residence, Questa, NM

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Earthy Autumn Inspo at El Nido Farm

Nestled in the charming and agricultural landscape of the south valley, the old world architecture and natural elements of the Rio Grande fashioned the perfect setting for this earthy styled shoot at El Nido Farm. Captured by our very own Briana Nicole Photography, I can’t think of a better place to inspire true love than El Nido Farm — which literally means “the nest.”

Like an all-star cast, it is a treat to see these local wedding professionals merge with a kaleidoscope of creativity and talent to design this modern, yet romantic styled shoot to compliment our iconic New Mexico surroundings. This lovely group of ladies who collaborated on this one-of-a-kind shoot are among our faves here at Perfect Wedding Guide.

From the mouthwatering cake by Small Cakes to the antique-style stationery by Funky Olive, the moody color palette is so romantic and timely for this time of year. As we embrace the darker colors of fall, the stained walnut tones of the vintage decor by Darling Details, paired with fig and golden accents against a forest green backdrop creates the perfect mood for autumn inspo.

The inspiration for the cake was vintage romance. We chose a cream and rose gold color palette with a classic design to compliment the warm earth tones of El Nido Farm.

— Brigid, Small Cakes

Photos by Briana Nicole Photography

Meet the professionals who made this styled shoot possible:

Venue: El Nido Farm | Photographer: Briana Nicole Photography | Decor: Darling Details | Planner: Just Lovely Wedding & Event Planning | Floral: 21 Flowers | Cake: Small Cakes | Stationery: Funky Olive | Hair + Makeup: Gypsy Trail Makeup and Hair | Attire: Forever Yours

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Mark Your Calendars for the Diamond Dash Wedding Show!

We hope you are planning to join us at the last EPIC
ABQ Wedding Show of the year!

Diamond Dash Wedding Show

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, 330 Tijeras NW

VIP Pre-Party, Chapel | 11:30-12:30

Wedding Show, Main Ballroom | 1-4

The Wedding Show as well as the VIP Pre-Party are each $5 online, but prices will go up to $10 at the door!

Make sure to get your tickets here>

This is your chance to see the hottest trends in bridal and men’s formalwear, score giveaways galore and possibly get picked to be one of the 5 lucky ladies to dive into a wedding cake for FREE diamond jewelry from our local Shelton Jewelers, all while planning your wedding with the best — the VERY best!

Here are 5 reasons you don’t want to miss out on the Diamond Dash!

  1. VIP Insider Secrets Pre-Party is happening from 11:30-12:30 in the brand new, beyond amazing, Hyatt Regency ABQ Chapel.
  2. The first 200 engaged couples to check into the show will receive $500 in PWG Bucks to spend toward your dream wedding.
  3. An elite assortment of the most preferred wedding professionals in Albuquerque, all ready to meet you under one roof!
  4. Breathtaking displays sure to inspire and help you envision the perfect celebration for your big day.
  5. Wedding swag and phenomenal specials that can help you maximize your budget and book today’s top wedding professionals.

Click here for tips to get the most out of the Diamond Dash!

Check out our spring Diamond Dash video by Photographic Perspectives:

A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR SPONSORS:

Hyatt Regency | Photographic Perspectives | Cake Fetish | New Mexico Wedding Professionals | King Mobile Music | Bliss Salon & Spa | Suits Unlimited |  | Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Simply Decor & Events

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Come One, Come All! Witness the Incredible 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Last night was a circus — literally! Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote, we had the amazing opportunity to show our appreciation and celebrate the accomplishments of our favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for our annual Bride’s Select Awards at NOAH’s Event Venue.

More than 650 local brides, grooms and newlyweds voted in over 20 categories and the results are in! Covering everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Venue and Best Photographer, we are pleased to present you with the best of the best!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the amazing, the talented 2017 Bride’s Select Award winners!

Best Unique Wedding Service: Frost Gelato

Best Photo Booth Rental: Cutmaster Music

Best Cinematographer: Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography

Best Local Band: Entourage Jazz

Best Disc Jockey: Dream Factory Productions

Best Place to Order Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery

Best Hotel for Guest Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

Best Men’s Formal Wear Shop: Mr. Tux Formal Wear

Best Bridal Gown Shop: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Floral Designer: Floriography

Best Rental Company: Simply Décor and Events

Best Event Decor: Black Swan Events

Best Wedding Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Best Location to have a Ceremony: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Best Place to Have a Reception: Hotel Albuquerque

Best Place to Have a Rehearsal Dinner: El Pinto

Best Place to have a Bachelorette Party: Uptown Funk

Best Catering or Restaurant: Prairie Star

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci

Best Spa or Place to Relax: Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Bridal Beauty Expert: Genica Lee

Best Wedding Coordinator: Alena Swanson, LLC

Congratulations, 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Photos by Sacred Life Photography

And, of course, a special thanks to our AMAZING sponsors! You made our Bride’s Select Awards Circus a huge success!

Ringmaster Brad of King Mobile Music | NOAH’S Event Venue | Occasion Services & Events | Conchita’s Creations | Bombshell Fitness | Sacred Life Photography | Charlotte’s Flowers | High Noon Restaurant & Saloon | Wise Fool New Mexico

Every year, your local Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides, grooms and newlyweds just like you to get your feedback on your favorite local wedding businesses.

Stay tuned for dates to cast your vote for our 2018 Bride’s Select Awards!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Find Your Dream Dress in Your Size

Have you ever found a beautiful dress online, only to order the dress and be completely disappointed in how it fits or looks in person? I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times. Unfortunately, the same is true of wedding dresses, so don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a dress you see in a magazine or online before you have tried it on.

To help you make the right decision from the get go, I had the pleasure of meeting with Darlene of Bridal Elegance by Darlene to give us insight on some of your most pressing questions about wedding dresses. Particularly, how do you find the right style of dress? and, how do you find the right size?

Darlene had some great tips to help all you brides-to-be find the perfect dress for your big day. With over 35 years of experience, well over 500 styles of wedding gowns and over 200 bridesmaids dresses to choose from in her local bridal boutique, you may want to pay attention to Darlene’s advice — I have a good feeling she knows a thing or two about this topic!

Number One: Keep An Open Mind

Usually, brides look on Pinterest or see a picture of a model in a dress and get locked into that idea and imagine that they will look the same way. Only to get to the bridal boutique and find out it isn’t the right style or fit for their body type. Ladies, if this happens to you don’t feel bad — you’re not alone.

Darlene explained that this is very typical and that is why it is so important to keep an open mind. Besides, after trying on a few dresses at Bridal Elegance by Darlene, she is usually able to help brides find the perfect dress that turns out to be even better than the original gown they had in mind.

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Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Two: Trying On vs. Fitting

Many brides are concerned about their dress fitting them perfectly so they put off trying on dresses until the last minute, hoping this will ensure the most accurate size for the wedding. However, you don’t want to put it off. To have a dress that fits you perfectly, you should definitely start trying on dresses 10 months to a year out from your wedding.

Doing so will ensure enough time for placing the order, processing, shipping and alterations. Once the dress is in you will have an official fitting with all your undergarments four weeks from your wedding date. Once the initial alterations are made, you’ll have another fitting two weeks before to fine tune your dress, make any additional changes and make sure it’s just right!

Photo by Roxana Albusel Photography

Number Three: Wear Your Shoes

If you already have the shoes you’re going to wear or know the height of the shoes you want, it would be a really good idea to take them or another pair of the same height on your search for the perfect dress. Oftentimes, this detail is overlooked and the dress isn’t the right length come the wedding day. You don’t want it to be too short or too long that your tripping over it as you walk down the aisle.

And if you shop for your dress early enough, you can order your dress in the perfect length and save money on alterations later. For more on being prepared for your visit to the bridal boutique, take a look at our post: How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Four: What About Bridesmaids?

The same advice applies to bridesmaids, if not more so. You don’t want to get locked into a certain style with bridesmaids dresses because, as Darlene mentions, “You have to fit five different body shapes into one style.” You want your entourage to feel just as beautiful and comfortable, so be sure to keep each lady in mind as you dream about the perfect look for your bridesmaids.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Five (Advice Mine): When in Doubt, Don’t

If you’re not absolutely in love with a dress, don’t settle. You will end up wasting money on something you don’t really like and regret your decision in the long run. Be patient. When the right dress comes around you will know it!

And whatever you do, don’t settle on a dress because someone else thinks it’s beautiful. Choose a dress that you love and that you feel comfortable in. After all, it’s your wedding and you only get one shot to look and feel your best on your big day.

Ladies, lets not decide on this bridesmaid’s dress straight away. Let’s let our bodies decide, try some things on, and have some fun.

— Helen, Bridesmaids

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com